Around 100 people turned out to the Justice4All.ie rally in support of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe outside Mullingar Garda Station last night, Thursday March 6.
Among them were retired garda John Wilson, independent TDs Luke Ming Flanagan and Clare Daly, Donegal councillor Frank McBrearty and Shell To Sea protester Maura Harrington.
Calling the system within An Garda Síochána “incestuous, dysfunctional and rotten”, John Wilson said he had no confidence in Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, or garda commissioner Martin Callinan.
“It beggars belief, in the year 2014, that you have serving garda officers, attached to the organisation, whose main task is to investigate garda wrongdoing. It is perverse, it is bizarre,” he told the Westmeath Examiner.
Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan agreed.
“I’d like to see both of them go, I’d like to see a Minister for Justice that respected the word justice. And give justice to the families who are here,” he told the Westmeath Examiner.
“We’re not talking about small crimes here, we’re talking about rape, murder, drug dealing, land grabbing and many more. This is the sort of stuff that you’d see in a fiction thriller movie, something like Reservoir Dogs. And sadly this has become a reality for many of the people who are here today.
“The first thing that has to be done is that those two men at the top have to go, because as they say about the Mafia, the fish rots from the head, and we know where the smell is coming from at the moment.”
Independent TD Clare Daly, addressing those present, said the rally was not just about solidarity but about speaking out against the injustice of the state.
In any other country Minister Shatter and garda commissioner Martin Callinan would have been long gone, she said, adding that the “only reason they’re still there is that they’re been backed up by Fine Gael, by Enda Kenny, and particularly by the Labour Party.”
“The revelations that came out from the heroic work undertaken by Maurice and John were denied at every turn, the minister didn’t want to know, the taoiseach didn’t want to know, nobody wanted to know. But the lesson for everybody here is that persistence pays.”
Frank McBrearty said he had been helping both Sgt McCabe and John Wilson for over a year now.
“This station here had a garda officer, who was transferred from Donegal, he’s the only garda officer that has had to give evidence in three public enquiries,” said Frank McBrearty.
“We have a constitution that is supposed to protect our rights, but in this country, we don’t have equal rights. The establishment has the rights and it’s time the people get the reform that is needed.”
Mr McBrearty said corruption was systemic, and not only within An Garda Síochána, but within the HSE.
“We have to stand up and fight like my family fought 17 years ago.”